Barbora Zahlavova Strycova vs (3) Andrea Petkovic
Saturday’s second semifinal in Antwerp sees surprise semifinalist: Barbora Zahlavova Strycova take on Andrea Petkovic for a spot in sundays final at the BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games.
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova has sailed through the draw in Antwerp, winning all three of her matches in straight sets. Strycova has dropped just 14 games in 6 sets and will come into this semi-final full of confidence. Strycova dismantled a wayward Alize Cornet 6-4 6-2 in the second round before thumping Mona Barthel 6-2 6-2 in the quarter-finals.
The slow indoor conditions seem to be playing into the hands of the crafty Czech, who will certainly fancy her chances on Saturday when she comes up against Andrea Petkovic.
Andrea Petkovic’s stunning form continued on Friday as she defeated Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 6-0. After saving eight match points in her second round victory over Alison Van Uytvanck, the German really has nothing to lose. Petkovic made the most of her second chance with a solid victory over Domi.
Petkovic squandered eight set points in the opening set before finally closing out the set in a first set tiebreaker. Domi then called a medical timeout at the end of the opening set to have her ankle strapped, the Slovak never recovered. Domi’s movement was clearly hampered in the second set as her resistance wavered, Petko took full advantage to cruise into the semifinals.
Petko has a 2-1 head to head record over Strycova. The German has won their two most recent encounters, both in straight sets. Their last meeting took place in Linz back in 2012, Petkovic prevailing 7-6 6-2.
Petkovic has had an incredible week, two marathon victories in the Fed Cup and now reaching the semifinals in Antwerp. Petko showed no signs of fatigue in her victory over Domi however Strycova is bound to be the fresher of the two and that could be the biggest difference in such a close matchup. Strycova has played so well this week and I fancy she will continue her good run on Saturday with a hard fought victory over the German.
Prediction: Barbora Strycova to defeat Andrea Petkovic in 3 sets